Uncommon Success – A Leadership Guest Blog with Brent Gallagher

Uncommon Success = Uncommon Simplicity

Uncommon Success = Uncommon Simplicity

Sometimes kids ask profoundly deep, yet simple questions.

My 5-year-old, Ava, and I were running some errands this past weekend, while my wife stayed at home to watch our 2-year-old daughter who was sick.

Ava begin talking about the sequence of events from the last few weeks: “First I got sick. Then mommy got sick. Then you got sick. And now Ella is sick.

She went on to ask the profoundly deep, yet simple question that only can come from the curiosity of a child: “If we’re all sick, who’s going to take care of us?

I mumbled through the response that mommy and daddy would have to step up and do what’s needed to make sure everyone is okay.

Then she hit me again: “How’s a sick person supposed to take care of another sick person?

She was right.

How can we, as leaders, entrepreneurs and parents overlook that simple fact that if we’re sick we cannot take care of others? (aka: burnt out, tired, sick, depressed, not sleeping well, overweight, eating poorly). How can we create and build the dreams that lie within all of us if we’re not taking care of ourselves in the most basic ways?

It’s been said that the leader is the lesson.

If we lead a company that places a priority on living a fit and healthy rhythm of life, then we get a fit and healthy team. If we set the tone for relaxing, recharging and refocusing our lives on a regular daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis, our team will do the same. If we workout for 30 minutes a day and eat real whole, nutritious food, our workplace fitness competitions would be ten times more successful.

On the flip side, if we parent our kids on words alone, allowing our actions to show something completely different, we’ll see our kids rebelling. We’ll get so frustrated that we can’t seem to understand why they do what they do. If we burn the candle at both ends, focusing on long work hours, long periods of inactivity, long periods of skimping on sleep and long periods of eating poorly (sugary & processed foods), we can expect our kids, teams and others we lead to follow suit.

The leader is truly the lesson.

What if you own the lesson of living a fit and healthy rhythm of life – at work, home and around friends and family – how could you create greater impact in the lives of others?

What if you make the uncommon choice to sleep 7+ hours, eat real whole food, train for 30 minutes on a regular basis and condition your body to perform at optimal levels?

Which one of these uncommonly simple steps would you take to begin your journey?

  1. Be Curious & Learn a New Skill – Attend a cooking class or master a new workout.
  2. Connect with Friends – Find classes filled with the energy you’re seeking.
  3. Schedule it – Ensure time to workout & create healthy meals to take care of others.
  4. Create a routine – It’s about efficiency. Compete with yourself to see how productive you can become.

We can start looking for uncommon success in our professional and personal lives by simply refocusing on the basics.

And the essential first step we can all take to living a fit and healthy rhythm of life is to simply ask:

Am I willing to be the lesson? 

Leaders Create Conversation

Share this with your spouse, leadership team, friends and family to begin a conversation about what it means to live a fit and healthy rhythm of life.

Brent Gallagher

Brent started West U Fitness in 2006, with a vision to create a unique space with an energized look and feel, where trainers and clients become family and the facility itself is a part of the community fabric of Houston.  Brent’s core philosophy is to live a life of purpose that inspires individuals to become better versions of themselves.

As a recognized performance coach, Brent works with some of the world’s top professional golfers, as well as other elite athletes, weekend warriors and top-level executives. He is also the author of PURPOSE: A Simple Path to a Better Life. You can follow Brent on Twitter @brentgallagher


5 Simple Steps to Increase Your Likeability

‘Your likeability reflects your capacity to consistently produce positive emotional experiences in the lives of other people – room in your life for other people’s feelings, room in your life for other people’s success.’

 – Tim Sanders 

5 Simply Steps to Increase Your Likeability

5 Simply Steps to Increase Your Likeability

One of the key distinguishing characteristics that may be holding you back in business and in life is how likeable you are as a person. Likeability literally translated is, ‘the ability to find a common connection.’ By practicing these Five Simple Steps below you can increase your likeability exponentially…

  1. See the Individual

Appreciate the person in front of you. Whether it’s a coworker, client or customer they are unique and have value. It sounds a bit too simplistic, but so many times in business and life people are viewed as objects. Get to know them and connect personally. No two people are alike and when you really see them as an individual it will transform the quality and depth of your relationship.

  1. Ask Good Questions

Questions are the lifeblood of any conversation. If you want to increase your likeability factor, make the conversation about the person in front of you. Stay focused on the conversation, ask open-ended questions, don’t interrupt them and leverage the power of silence. Asking good questions is an art, but with practice you will add value and increase the connection with others.

  1. Be Vulnerable

Being vulnerable is a sure sign that you’re comfortable in your own skin. When you open up to others in appropriate ways you increase the likelihood of a meaningful connection. When you make a mistake own up to it, apologize and move forward. You can instantly turn a negative situation into a positive encounter by owning up to your part, and others are less like to resent you or find fault if you’re proactively taking the higher road.

  1. Invite, Involve and Invest

One of the best ways to find common ground is to create shared experiences. When you bring people along for the journey you engender their support and increase their enthusiasm for your latest cause or project. ‘We’ always trumps ‘me’ in business and in life, because this life is about relationships. When you genuinely involve and invest in those closest to you, you will undoubtedly turn strangers into friends, coworkers into compatriots and fans into fanatics.

  1. Say, ‘Thank You.’

Thankfulness comes from the Latin word for ‘grace.’ When you say those two magic words with meaning you will unlock gratitude in others. Gratitude is like rocket fuel for souls. When you exhibit a thankful attitude and extend this grace to others it’s truly contagious. Saying ‘thank you’ not only shows appreciation for the individual in front of you, it also pays respect to their intrinsic value and worth in your relationship.

It sounds too simple, almost too good to be true, but by applying these 5 Simple Steps you will undoubtedly get ahead in business and in life by increasing your likeability.

Continue the Conversation

What would YOU add to the list above?

Share this with someone who could benefit from increasing their likeability so that they can begin living the life they were created to live.

Be honest, be you.



© 2006-2014 Stephen Knox, orbitingnormal.org All Rights Reserved

7 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Business and Life

‘We make our discoveries through our mistakes: we watch one another’s success: and where there is freedom to experiment there is hope to improve.’
- Arthur Quiller-Couch

7 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Business and Life

All of us struggle and hit roadblocks in our personal and professional lives. Some of these can be avoided by adopting these simple principles below on a daily basis:
  1. Start Pursuing Your Goals

Knowing the good we ought to do and not doing it is a greater tragedy than being ignorant or oblivious in life. Goals create a target to aim for and an ideal to achieve. When we set goals we gain clarity, drive and focus to improve our business and our lives. Goal setting also enables us to keep score and track our progress.

            Momentum = mass x velocity

Momentum requires direction and magnitude – our bodies in motion towards our intended target. By choosing a goal we gain clarity on the direction we need to head, and when we move towards that goal with passion and focus we increase the momentum and likelihood of success.

  1. Stop Making Excuses

Excuses are like bellybuttons: Everybody has one and it usually stinks. Excuses are never neutral. When we do not act we actually begin to atrophy. Atrophy literally means ‘without sustenance.’ When we make excuses we starve our future. Simply put, excuses cause us to regress and only delay us from achieving the life we were created to live. When we stop making excuses we move from apathy to action. Without excuses we have no choice but to move forward and act.

  1. Start Embracing Change

To quote my wife, ‘the only constant in life is change.’ We cannot control tomorrow, let alone the next minute. What we can do is embrace our lack of control. Embracing change requires both courage and wisdom. Courage is all about heart, and wisdom is all about living life skillfully. When we embrace change we move from obsessing about what we cannot control and begin to move forward with vision and passion.

  1. Stop Wasting Time

Procrastination is where good intentions and great ideas go to die. Literally translated, procrastination means, ‘to put off until tomorrow.’ Procrastination is what separates the average masses from the great individuals, and normal companies from becoming truly influential and world changing. Delays are inevitable, but when they are self-inflicted choices we waste the most expensive commodity that we have – our time. By investing our time wisely we not only move away from the status quo, we move towards fulfillment and living a life of impact and influence.

  1. Start Playing to Your Strengths

When we play to our strengths we move from focusing on our weaknesses to genuinely making a lasting impact on the world with our natural gifts, strengths and talents. By playing to our strengths we also live a more fulfilled life. We discover purpose and passion for the work we do and the relationships we are building. Not only that, we create a leadership vacuum for others who are strong where we are weak to embrace their own giftedness and leadership skills. When we play to our strengths we give others permission to risk. By stepping up to the challenge and stepping out of our comfort zone we inspire others to follow their own unique path. This is why leadership is not what we do ‘to’ people, but what we do ‘for’ people.

  1. Stop Placing Blame

Blame literally means, ‘to speak blasphemously about the sacred.’ When we point the finger at others we destroy trust. Every business and relationship is built on trust. Blame creates unnecessary conflict and confusion. Relationships are sacred, and we should value the people involved in the process. The opposite of blame is not acceptance – it  is however a mixture of responsibility, vulnerability and accountability. When we admit our mistakes and humbly take ownership of our role in identifying the problem we can move towards creating a healthy solution.

  1. Start Asking for Help

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; rather it is a sign of strength. None of us can go it alone. We all have unique gifts, strengths and talents that are meant to be shared with our spouses, family, friends and colleagues for the greater good. The bottom line is that we need each other. ‘We’ is ‘me’ turned upside down. When we start asking for help we include and empower others to rise to the occasion and aide us in our quest for success. Along the way we create community and a deep sense of belonging. Asking for help requires that we get over ourselves, and when we do this we end up getting ourselves over whatever obstacle or challenge we might be facing.

Continue the Conversation

What would YOU add to the list above?

Share this with someone who could benefit from stopping negative behaviors and starting healthy habits so that they can begin living the life they were created to live.

Be honest, be you.



© 2006-2014 Stephen Knox, orbitingnormal.org All Rights Reserved

12 Tips for Increasing Your Productivity

‘Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.’

― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

12 Tips for Increasing Your Productivity

12 Tips for Increasing Your Productivity

 Here are my top 12 Tips for Increasing Your Productivity:

  1. Prepare – Before you leave the office, write down the three most important items you need to do tomorrow. Sticky notes are great; make sure you place the note somewhere visible to start your day productively.
  2. Remove – Get rid of any obstacles or distractions that steal your attention or interrupt your ability to focus. Rearrange your work space to maximize your ability to get tasks done.
  3. Organize – Organizing can vary depending on how you’re wired, but you can benefit from creating a system for structuring your day around your top 3 critical tasks or projects each day. Dashboards tools are great for this.
  4. Discover – Find and stick with a pattern for your week to maximize work flow. For example:
    • Mondays  are client-focused with engagement, follow-up and retention.
    • Tuesdays are a research day for me about the latest trends and research in my industry.
    • Wednesdays are for writing, correspondence and database management.
    • Thursdays and Fridays are for engaging with current and prospective clients.
  1. Under-Promise – Know your limits. Say ‘Yes’ to the right opportunities, and ‘No’ to any engagements that may lead you away from being productive around your core business.
  2. Capitalize  – Use your ‘down-time’ effectively. Keep a short list of future projects that you can focus on. If a meeting is cancelled or a flight is delayed, break out your laptop or journal and invest that time wisely on work that is meaningful.
  3. Think – Having time to digest what you’re working on and whether it’s headed in the right direction is crucial. An old mentor of mine would always say: ‘Divert Daily. Withdraw Weekly. And, Miss out Monthly.’ When you take the time to retreat you can actually advance more productively.
  4. Involve – Bring people along to your meetings, events and lunches. Intentionally involving employees and clients in your everyday rhythms of life can pay off big time when it comes to productivity.
  5. Vacation – It sounds counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways to increase your productivity is to take a vacation. When your personal battery is recharged you’re more effective and engaged on the job.
  6. Invest – Technology can be a blessing and a curse, more times than not there’s a resource or ap that can make your life simpler. Take the time to invest the time, energy, and money to research and purchase these time-saving tools.
  7. Track – You cannot manage what you cannot measure, this is critical for leading yourself well. Track your progress and what tasks and activities give you energy and which ones you can give away to others. Evaluation is the best method for ensuring you stay productive.
  8. You – Self-awareness is critical when it comes to productivity. Understanding your temperament, strengths and preference for working can increase your productivity exponentially. One-size does not fit all, so be true to how you’re wired to lead and manage.

Living a productive life is a matter of choice, and daily discipline. Start living the life you were created to live today by leveraging these 12 Tips for Increasing Your Productivity. 


Invest in others:

Share this post with 3 people you know who could benefit from this. 


Be honest, be you.


© 2006-2014 Stephen Knox, orbitingnormal.org All Rights Reserved


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